Terri Cunliffe Named CEO of Covenant Retirement Communities, Inc.

cunliffeContact: Wendy D’Alessandro

Covenant Retirement Communities (CRC) recently named Terri Cunliffe as its chief executive officer, effective June 1, 2015. Ms. Cunliffe, who has served as CRC’s COO since 2010 and has been part of the organization for more than 25 years, succeeds current CEO Rick Fisk.
Beginning her career as a nursing home part-time receptionist, she has held a series of progressive leadership roles within CRC, including nursing home administrator and executive director at Covenant Village of Florida.
Ms. Cunliffe earned a Bachelor of Science degree in long-term care administration from the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, Minn. and a master’s degree in health services administration from Nova Southeastern University, Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

Read the full press release here


Covenant Village of Turlock Residents Log 4,319 Volunteer Hours in Turlock Community

Contact: Wendy D’Alessandro
(561) 251-3151

volunteers TURLOCK, Calif., May 18, 2015 – Covenant Village of Turlock is a small community of 300, but its altruistic residents logged 4,319 volunteer hours in the local community in 2014. On May 9, the faithbased, not-for-profit continuing care retirement community honored nearly 100 of its residents and staff members for their commitment to the greater good with a Volunteer Appreciation Dinner prepared by Executive Chef Klaus Richter. This year’s theme was “Springtime in the Garden.”

“The need to serve doesn’t diminish with age,” said Executive Director Bob Howell. “Some of our busiest volunteers are in their 90s and they continue to enrich the lives of others in their own small way. In fact, one of our residents just retired from volunteering at the local blood bank. She was 93!”

Residents volunteer at schools, hospitals, libraries, the police department and the local food bank. Recently, a group of seven residents and three staff members helped prepare 131 boxes of food for the Feed My Starving Children ministry at Hilmar Covenant Church. Another group of residents is sewing clothing for
orphans in Africa. So far, they’ve completed 40 dresses.

“We try to be good neighbors wherever we’re needed,” said Howell. “We are a faith-based community, so sharing our time and talent with others is a way of life for us.”

The same philanthropic mission is alive and well on campus. Residents volunteer at the mini-market or the Sound Room, where they record many of the programs showcased on campus. Covenant Village donates hundreds of hours in building usage each year for meetings, community classes, galas and charity events.
In February, Covenant Village hosted Mayor Gary Soiseth for his State of the City address and welcomed Turlock’s first responders for what’s become an Annual Appreciation Breakfast. Twice a week 50-60 local seniors fill the halls for an exercise program and the Turlock Fire and Police Departments use Covenant
Village to conduct training programs regularly on campus.

“This is who we are,” said Howell. “Thanks to the LifeConnect™ partnership we have with residents, everyone – the residents and staff, alike – can live a life with purpose and serve the greater community.”

LifeConnect creates opportunities for individuals to pursue whole-person wellness so they remain vital members of the community. Opportunities include educational and cultural programming, spiritual enrichment, creative arts and, of course, volunteer outreach.

For more information on Covenant Village of Turlock,  visit www.CovenantVillageofTurlock.org.

The Samarkand Appoints Jessica Briceño Dining Services Director

Ruth Grande, REGrande@covenantretirement.org
Wendy D’Alessandro, wendydalessandro@gmail.com

bricenoThe Samarkand in Santa Barbara recently appointed Jessica Briceño as their new Dining Services Director. In her new role, Briceño will oversee all food and beverage operations at the community. She will also manage the Samarkand’s catering.

Briceño has a long history in the hospitality industry, working in the field for more than a decade. She previously served as the food and beverage manager at Ojai Valley Inn and Spa, where she was recognized as Manager of the Year. She also worked for Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts at several locations, including Venezuela, Texas and Hawaii, and was general manager of Pangea Bistro in West Palm Beach, Fla.

She is a graduate of Nueva Esparta University in Caracas, Venezuela, where she received a Bachelor’s degree in business administration in the tourism industry.

To learn more about The Samarkand, visit www.TheSamarkand.org. For information on Covenant Retirement Communities, visit www.covenantretirement.org.

The Meadows of Napa Valley Announces Plans for $67 Million Expansion of its Continuing Care Retirement Community

Contact: Amy Jones & Gabrielle Wallace, Forté Group, Inc.

Expansion-RenderingThe Meadows of Napa Valley, a nonprofit resident-centered retirement community, is excited to announce plans for innovative renovations and a major expansion. The estimated $67 million project will add an additional 242,000 square feet of amenities and independent living apartments. The main aspects of the expansion will include 92 new apartments and underground parking, a state-of-the-art wellness and aquatic center and fully renovated dining venues. The stunning 900 square foot to 2,400 square foot apartments will be some of the most spacious offered at a retirement community in the Bay Area. The community will continue to provide a full range of health care services for an onsite continuum of care including assisted living, memory care and skilled nursing. Construction is expected to begin in spring of next year and will take an estimated 18 months to build.

Wellness and Aquatic Center Rendering“We are very excited about the extensive renovations and the expansion that will take place in our community,” said Wayne Panchesson, executive director of The Meadows of Napa Valley. “A lot of thought and strategic planning have gone into the various aspects of the project to ensure that we further enrich the lives of our residents. With the addition of our top-notch wellness center, spacious apartments and superb dining venues, we will provide even more opportunities for active retirees to be fulfilled during retirement and into their later years. We are thrilled to answer questions from people who live in the area, and we are currently creating a priority list of interested individuals who want to learn more. We can’t wait until our vision becomes a reality.”

Realizing the trend that people want more space in retirement than in the past, the project will include large and breathtaking apartments that all have nine-foot ceilings, large windows, and private balconies. Additionally, to encourage individuals to stay active and healthy as they age, the wellness and aquatic center will span over 6,000 square feet and allow for a full-size lap pool, a spa pool and an aerobics pool. The renovated dining venues will include a brand new experience with formal dining as well as a more casual bistro setting.

Dining_Rendering“We already do a lot to make life pleasurable for those who live here,” said Panchesson. “This is about taking it to the next level and continually evaluating how we can help seniors enjoy the life they want to live when they retire here in picturesque Napa Valley.”

To learn more about The Meadows of Napa Valley, visit www.retirement.org/meadowsnapa 

CCH Celebrates Grand Re-Opening of Westlake Christian Terrace East

Westlake_East_croppedContact: Iris Murillo

On Tuesday, May 12, CCH will be celebrating the grand re-opening of Westlake Christian Terrace East, a recently renovated 200-unit complex offering affordable housing for low-income seniors. Festivities will occur between 3:00 pm and 5:00 pm as part of an Affordable Housing Week celebration sponsored by East Bay Housing Organizations (EBHO).

Built in 1968 by CCH, Westlake Christian Terrace East is among the oldest affordable housing communities in Oakland serving low income seniors.  With a diverse population of residents that reflect the local community, Westlake is the flagship facility for CCH and a major hub of senior housing and services.  In the past two years, all 200 apartments were upgraded with new bathrooms and kitchens.  The $58 million project includes building improvements to seismic strength, energy efficiency and accessibility, and construction of 23 additional parking spaces, a computer center and new outdoor seating area.

CCH CEO and President Don Stump states, “We are truly grateful for the support received from the City of Oakland, our valued partners and investors.  The project serves as an example of what is possible when invested parties collaborate to serve the greater good.  Together, we have ensured that this community will continue to serve as affordable housing for the seniors of this City for the next 50 years. ”

Visit www.cchnc.org for more information.

Covenant Village of Turlock Veterans Take to the Skies in WWII-era Biplane

Contact: Wendy D’Alessandro
BlueSpire Senior Living
(561) 251-3151

covenant-villageTen senior veterans from Covenant Village of Turlock, ages 83-94, took to the Turlock skies this April in a 1942 Boeing Stearman biplane at Turlock Municipal Airport. The flights were courtesy of Ageless Aviation Dreams Foundation, a non-profit organization founded by Darryl Fisher to honor U.S. military veterans living in senior communities. “We have quite a few veterans at our community and we thought what a better way to honor members of the Greatest Generation than with a ‘Dream Flight,’” said Adele Barnard, resident service director of the senior living community. Residents strapped on a leather helmet, goggles and headset and then with Fisher took off on a 20-minute flight. Pictured, left to right: Dick Laughlin, 91, Lieutenant Junior Grade, U.S. Navy, World War II; Casey Dennis, ground crew pilot-in-training; and founder and pilot Darryl Fisher get ready for takeoff.

Learn more about Covenant Village of Turlock: www.CovenantVillageofTurlock.org


Four LeadingAge California Member Communities Recognized for Excellence by SeniorAdvisor.com

Contributed by: Casey Kelly-Barton, SeniorAdvisor.com

Four LeadingAge California member communities have earned 2015 SeniorAdvisor.com Best of Senior Living Awards, based on consistently positive ratings from residents and their families.

Now in its 2nd year, SeniorAdvisor.com’s Best of Senior Living program identifies the top 1 percent of senior communities and in-home care services nationwide. To be considered for inclusion, communities must have an average overall rating of at least 4.5 out of 5 possible stars on SeniorAdvisor.com, the foremost review site for senior living communities and services across the U.S. This year’s nearly 900 winners were chosen from approximately 100,000 senior care providers listed on SeniorAdvisor.com.

The four LeadingAge California member communities that earned this year’s award are:

Acacia Creek – Union City, CA

AlmaVia of San Francisco – San Francisco, CA

Bixby Knolls Towers – Long Beach, CA

Royal Oaks – Duarte, CA 

Together, these four communities had an average rating of 4.63 out of 5. Reviewers who left high marks for them mentioned a combination of outstanding staff members, friendly residents, and beautiful settings among the things that appealed to them:

As a 77-year old widow with no family in the area I made the hard decision to leave our beloved home and move to Royal Oaks because I could foresee a lonely future with a caretaker. Four years later I’ve had not one moment of regret. Security, companionship, leisure activities, intellectual stimulation, volunteer opportunities, all in beautiful surroundings. I am thriving – living my Third Act – enjoying every stress-free day, all with the knowledge the hard decisions are behind me and now is the time to enjoy and ” BE” all that I can be.

Overall this year, California has the most SeniorAdvisor.com Best of Senior Living Awards winners of any state.

“SeniorAdvisor.com aims to help families research and locate reliable, first-hand feedback on senior care options from other families who have gone through the same experience,” said Eric Seifert, President of SeniorAdvisor.com. “We are proud to celebrate the exceptional businesses who care for our greatest generation and older loved ones, and provide these organizations with the recognition they deserve.”

To see a complete list of this year’s award-winning communities, read the complete award criteria, and view previous winners, please visit SeniorAdvisor.com.